Monday, July 18, 2011

History doesn’t bear out Harper’s hopes for brief NDP honeymoon in Quebec - The Globe and Mail

The analysis is this article is a bit simplistic but interesting:

History doesn’t bear out Harper’s hopes for brief NDP honeymoon in Quebec - The Globe and Mail

If I had to guess ... I wouldn't. There are other examples that might be listed of failed honeymoons (United Farmers in Ontario, the ADQ in QC) and near miss honeymoons (the Liberal "resurgence in MN under Carstairs, COR in NB, Farmer-Labour in NS) and successful ones (United Farmers in Alberta, UN in QC) or near miss (the Creditistes hung on for 15 years, I'd need to check, as a minority group in QC). The issue is complex, but the author's overall point is correct. The history of the NDP -- when looked at dispassionately -- does not suggest that people elect them and run away shortly thereafter. Bob Rae was the exception; not the rule.

I don't necessarily see why, Quebecers would back away from the NDP. Public opinion surveys suggest that Quebecers are as divided on political issues as other Canadians, but that the Quebec political spectrum (overall) is more amenable to the NDP then the Conservatives. And, Quebecers are aware that they have elected an opposition party. They are not looking for the NDP to "deliver the goods" but to represent a particular perspective. I expect the NDP will be able to do this and I suspect that phalanx of Quebecers elected under their banner will help them.
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